I begin with this familiar passage from Luke:
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ -Luke 7:33-34, ESV
From these verses we should be able to deduce two things rather plainly; namely, that 1) God may very well call different ones of us to different walks, abstinence and liberty alike being valid convictions, and 2) regardless of what you do or don't do, it is a safe guarantee that someone somewhere will think you are wrong.
These observations may be comforting or discouraging, depending upon how we receive them. It is discouraging that we cannot formulate a watertight rule, but it is comforting to see that, apparently, we do not need one. It may be upsetting to realize one's inability to please everyone, but it is quite liberating to discover that this is not necessary, or even desirable.
This week saw the death of Ernest Gallo, a California wine country tycoon. The man was nearing 98 years of life, and had, with his brother, in the teeth of many challenges, developed a robust, family-oriented business.
Mr. Gallo and his brother Julio worked on separate floors of their headquarters, according to a Fortune magazine article. Julio, it said, strove to produce more than Mr. Gallo could sell, and Mr. Gallo aimed to sell more than his brother could produce. Mr. Gallo was said to be active in the business until he died.
That's a good old age and an admirable legacy by any standard. (Wikipedia has an overview of the complex and hotly debated relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Health; judge in yourselves, but do not skirt the question.)
Incidentally, Steve Scott has this morning a fine post on the subject:
Question #5: Is drinking wine potentially destructive?
Yes, but so is reading the bible.